The Gradient tool creates a gradual blend between multiple colors. You can choose from preset gradient fills or create your own.
Apply a gradient fill
The Gradient tool cannot be used with bitmap or indexed-color images.
Click the triangle next to the sample to pick a preset gradient fill.
Click inside the sample to view the Gradient Editor. Select a preset gradient fill, or create a new gradient fill. (See Create a smooth gradient.)
The Neutral Density preset provides a helpful photographic filter for sunsets and other high-contrast scenes.
- Select an option to determine how the starting point (where the mouse is pressed) and ending point (where the mouse is released) affect gradient appearance.
Linear Gradient toolLinear gradient
Shades from the starting point to the ending point in a straight line.
Radial Gradient toolRadial gradient
Shades from the starting point to the ending point in a circular pattern.
Reflected Gradient toolReflected gradient
Mirrors the same linear gradient on either side of the starting point.
Diamond Gradient toolDiamond gradient
Shades from the middle to the outer corners of a diamond pattern.
Specify a blending mode and opacity for the paint. (See Blending modes.)
To reverse the order of colors in the gradient fill, select Reverse.
To create a smoother blend with less banding, select Dither.
To use a transparency mask for the gradient fill, select Transparency. (See Specify the gradient transparency.)
Manage gradient presets
Gradient presets allow you to quickly apply gradients that you use often. You can manage your presets in the Gradient Picker, Presets Manager, or Gradient Editor.
Click Load to add a library to the current list. Select the library file you want to use, and click Load.
Choose Replace Gradients from the panel menu to replace the current list with a different library. Select the library file you want to use, and click Load.
Choose a library file from the bottom of the panel menu. Click OK to replace the current list, or click Append to append the current list.
You can also choose Load Gradients, Replace Gradients, or choose a library of gradients from the Gradient Picker menu in the options bar.
- If the panel is set to display gradients as thumbnails, double-click a gradient, enter a new name, and click OK.
- If the panel is set to display gradients as a list or text only, double-click a gradient, enter a new name inline, and press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS).
Gradient Editor overview
To display the Gradient Editor dialog box, click the current gradient sample in the options bar. (When you hover over the gradient sample, a tool tip reading “Click to edit gradient” appears.)
The Gradient Editor dialog box lets you define a new gradient by modifying a copy of an existing gradient. You can also add intermediate colors to a gradient, creating a blend between more than two colors.
A. Panel menu B. Opacity stop C. Color stops D. Adjust values or delete the selected opacity or color stop E. Midpoint
Create a smooth gradient
Double-click the color stop, or click the color swatch in the Stops section of the dialog box. Choose a color, and click OK.
Choose an option from the Color pop‑up menu in the Stops section of the dialog box.
Position the pointer over the gradient bar (the pointer turns into the eyedropper), and click to sample a color, or click anywhere in the image to sample a color from the image.
New presets are saved in a Preferences file. If this file is deleted or damaged, or if you reset presets to the default library, the new presets will be lost. To permanently save new presets, save them in a library.
Specify the gradient transparency
Each gradient fill contains settings that control the opacity of the fill at different locations on the gradient. For example, you can set the starting color to 100% opacity and have the fill gradually blend into an ending color with 50% opacity. The checkerboard pattern indicates the amount of transparency in the gradient preview.
Create a noise gradient
A noise gradient is a gradient that contains randomly distributed colors within the range of colors that you specify.
A. 10% roughness B. 50% roughness C. 90% roughness